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Senate hopeful tours through southwest Oklahoma

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LAWTON, Okla._ One candidate for a soon-to-be vacant U.S. Senate seat here in Oklahoma says we need to restore conservative republican values in our national government. 

Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) toured through southwest Oklahoma today with that message, including stops in Duncan, Lawton and Altus.

The congressman from the Oklahoma City area is hoping to take over the Senate seat currently held by Dr. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who previously announced he will cut his term short and leave the Senate at the end of the year.

Lankford has been spending recent weeks in the nation's capital but says the Washington mentality is not Oklahoma's mentality.  

"People that are in Washington that stay in Washington, live in Washington, function in Washington and think the whole country thinks like that; they don't!"

The Republican from Edmond, who represents district five, started his day at the Day Break Diner in Duncan before heading to Cameron University in Lawton and ending his daylong tour in Altus. He expressed to voters why is ready for the next step.

"We're able to take on some of the big issues of the day in the Senate that we can't take on in the House," said Lankford. "That's where the battlefield is in the nation right now."

There are major issues facing Oklahomans, and he believes he can help fix them, including historic changes which have come about due to the Affordable Care Act rollout.

"Their costs are going up, they've lost their doctor, they've lost their old insurance company, their premiums have gone up (and) their co-pays have gone up," said Lankford, after speaking with a group of about 20 voters in Lawton.

Lankford believes federal mandates like Obamacare and the Common Core Curriculum for public schools are state issues.

"The constitution never permitted, nor encouraged the federal government stepping into a state and trying to take over something that's uniquely a state issue."

When it comes to our nation's continued exerted effort for an economic rebound, the Senate hopeful says it's a balanced budget we need to work toward.

"When I stepped in three years ago and sat on the budget committee getting the real numbers and working through this, it (was) this overwhelming sense of how bad things really are," said Lankford. "This will take multiple years of real work to be able to get out of this hole."

Folks at Cameron asked the candidate Monday afternoon about the debt ceiling and he said overall the government's spending is quote "out of control". He also showed his support for second amendment rights when asked about gun control.

The primary for the Senate seat is set for June 24.  

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